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Opchat Magazine LOC News pagesLOC & Commissioning News, October to December 2019

STP’s. Now seven CCGs to become three in Sussex
Become an Optical Leader in 2020
Have you booked your place at the NOC?
Keynote speakers announced for National Optical Conference (NOC 2019)
Sight and Sound Technology to provide an ongoing program of CET talks to LOCs
New online Performers List service for Ophthalmic practitioners now live as planned
LOCs playing a key role in Vision and Falls Awareness Campaign
Read the archived LOC and commissioning news here (July to September)

STP’s. Now seven CCGs to become three in Sussex

January 2020

NHS England has approved the merger of seven clinical commissioning groups in Sussex, that are currently in a sustainability and transformation partnership (STP), into three. This is despite having previously indicated it preferred merged CCGs to cover whole STP areas; this follows push back from local GPs.

The new CCGs in the Sussex STP will align with local government boundaries, creating organisations covering East Sussex, West Sussex, and Brighton and Hove.

Become an Optical Leader in 2020

December 2019

Applications are now open for LOCSU’s Leadership Skills for Optical Professionals. LOCSU will be funding 10 LOC places on the March 2020 course.

The Leadership Skills course is a 20-credit postgraduate module run as part of WOPEC’s MSc programme at Cardiff University.

The module has produced many successful candidates who are now leading the development of primary eyecare services in Primary Eyecare Companies and LOCs, as LOC Officers, as Clinical Governance and Performance Leads, as LOCSU Optical Leads and in Local Eye Health Networks.

This course is designed to enable the local optical committee member to become an effective leader at local and national level within the optical sector through the support and development of LOCs and LEHNs, building effective strategic networks, influencing policy makers and enhancing eye health services for patients.

It provides an understanding of current leadership models and theoretical approaches and will give delegates the background knowledge and practical skills that will equip them to provide leadership in the optical sector.

The LOCSU Leadership Module is open to Optometrists who are BSc qualified and Dispensing Opticians who are FBDO qualified (level 6).

Candidates must include a reference from their LOC and applications close on Monday 6 January 2020. Telephone interviews will be held on either 7 or 8 January 2020.

To download an application form and see the course details with key dates and activities, visit the LOCSU website

Have you booked your place at the NOC?

November 2019

This year’s National Optical Conference (NOC) on 13-14 November is proving extremely popular with places filling fast.

In response to feedback received in the LOCSU Communications Survey, the conference agenda is heavily focused on NHS Reform.

The conference features high profile speakers relating to this important topic as well as a panel discussion. In addition, a series of Facilitated Discussions will provide a unique opportunity to discuss and influence how LOCs and LOCSU should respond to NHS Reform and Restructuring.

Every LOC is entitled to one complimentary delegate place and there is no limit on how many delegates can attend from each LOC.

Sending 3 delegates will enable your LOC to be involved in all 6 facilitated discussions. We encourage everyone involved with LOCs and Primary Eyecare to attend the year’s most valuable event and look forward to seeing you there.

For further details click here and to book click here

Keynote speakers announced for National Optical Conference (NOC 2019)

October 2019

The Local Optical Council (LOC) has confirmed that Matt Neligan and Professor James Kingsland will be the keynote speakers at this year’s National Optical Conference, which takes place on 13-14 November.

Matt Neligan, Director for Primary Care Commissioning and Transformation at NHS England and NHS Improvement, will deliver the first keynote speech on NHS change and reform.

Professor James Kingsland, OBE, former President of the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) will examine how Primary Care Networks (PCNs) operate and their importance to LOCs. Keynote sessions will be followed by Q&As.

Find out more about the NOC 2019.

Sight and Sound Technology to provide an ongoing program of CET talks to LOCs

October 2019

With the diagnosis of eye diseases on the rise, alternative solutions for patients need to be at the top of the agenda. With referral times increasing, patients are having to wait longer to be seen by specialists and are having to struggle with daily activities in the meantime when there is a whole host of products and services out there to support them- they just don’t know about them.

To help with this education need, Sight and Sound Technology are working in collaboration with educational institutions, practice teams and local optical committee (LOC) memberships across the UK to improve awareness, understanding and confidence amongst practitioners in handling assistive technology for low vision patients.

Having spoken to hundreds of eye health and related healthcare professionals in both primary and secondary care over the last 12 months, it is clear that many are very dissatisfied with the current state of play. Keen to improve patient footfall and retention and identify new revenue streams there is frustration around inconsistent and incomplete sources of information and expert advice to which both patients and practices can benefit from. With multiple approaches from distributors, professionals are overwhelmed with choice which doesn’t assist with broadening their knowledge of low vision technologies but rather hinders their ability to provide
the best solution to the patient at the right cost.

Practitioners are looking for a trusted, dedicated provider who can offer them a commercial model and focused guidance around particularly new technologies and devices (including the compatibility of such technology for those patients with dementia, learning difficulties or other conditions) while at the same time taking the “sales pitch sting” out of any demonstration or interactive session for themselves or their patients.

Sight and Sound Technology aims to provide a solution to all this by delivering an ongoing programme of CET talks introduced to Local Optical Committees, practices, clinics and hospitals. Worth 3 interactive CET points, this sustainable and supportive programme for optometrists and dispensing opticians will also be rolled out to eye health professional students and other healthcare related professionals such as occupational therapists, ophthalmic nurses, rehabilitation workers and those working in social services, many of whom interact with visually impaired and low vision patients.

The desired outcome is for all attendees of these CET talks to ultimately feel much more knowledgeable about the choice and differentiation of the technology available, feel confident in demonstrating the appropriate technology to patients and/or signposting patients to a trusted provider of advice, support and technology and open the possibility of another revenue stream should they so wish.

You can find out more about the CET courses by contacting your regional LOC,
emailing or via phone on 01604 798070

Sight and Sound Technology is the UK and Ireland's leading provider of hardware and software for people who have visual, learning and reading difficulties. By working in unison with private individuals, charitable organisations, educational establishments and commercial enterprises, we help users fully realise their potential. Our product solutions have been specifically designed to improve quality of life at work, when studying or in the home.

New online Performers List service for Ophthalmic practitioners now live

October 2019

The new online Ophthalmic Performers List service in England launched as planned on 30 September.

PCSE Online has also confirmed that the new 24 hour a day online Performers List services will:

• Enable Ophthalmic Performers to submit and track changes to their details on the Performers List

• Provide Ophthalmic Performers with the ability to apply for the Performers List electronically

As we have stated earlier in the year: To use the service, you will need to register on PCSE Online.

By now you should have received a letter from PCSE that includes your unique access code and instructions on how to get online. PCSE is urging all users to ensure they register User Administrators without delay.

The PCSE has issued the following notes:

• It will need to validate the data provided, so in some circumstances it may take a couple of weeks to provide the required access and notify your administrators

• Users will be sent a link to log on to this service as soon as their access is available

• Specsavers, Boots-owned stores, Vision Express, ASDA, Scrivens, and Optical Express stores will receive the relevant information and guidance from their respective head offices about the user registration process

If you have any queries about the new online processes, you can now contact the PCSE customer support centre on 0333 014 2884.

LOCs playing a key role in Vision and Falls Awareness Campaign

October 2019

Across the UK every year 280,000 people end up in A&E after a fall, costing the NHS £1.5billion. Falls cause distress and can have devastating long-term impacts on physical and mental health. But when someone suffers a fall, how many consider the possibility that poor eye health and vision problems may be the cause?

Raising awareness of the links between falls and underlying health conditions, including problems with vision, is the aim of a major falls prevention campaign running in the North East and Yorkshire last week to coincide with both National Falls Prevention Week and National Eye Health Week. The campaign is the result of a multidisciplinary collaboration between NHS England and Improvement, North East Regional
LOCs, North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and Public Health England.

Stephanie Cairns, Chair of Northumberland Tyne and Wear LOC, who has been spearheading the optical sector’s involvement, explains what the campaign hopes to achieve: “The main aim of this campaign is to encourage people to report their falls to a GP so they can explore the reason why this has happened, it might not just be due to tripping over something, there could be an underlying health issue, and this may be related to vision. “The campaign also gives advice on how to prevent falls including promoting the importance of good eye health and the need for regular eye tests.”

Read more about the campaign here


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